Connecticut state police are investigating a seventh-grader at Griswold Middle School in Jewett City after school administrators learned that the student created a "death note" booklet with a list of other people's names in it, according to an email school officials sent home to parents.
"The administration was made aware of the presence of a booklet based on an anime cartoon first thing Monday morning and immediately called the police and began a full scale investigation," Superintendent Paul K. Smith said. "Students were aware of the booklet, but no report was made to the principal or assistant principal until Monday."
School officials said that the student is being disciplined in accordance with school board policy and depending on the findings of the police investigation. The student will not be in school for the remainder of the year.
"The families of the few students who were on the list have been notified," Smith said. "The student is not in school for the rest of the year and though we are treating this as if it could move to the most critical of situations, there is no reason to think that we are anything but safe at this time. Police and counselors do not see this as a threat to the school or individuals."
Griswold mother Kim Gauthier said the phone call she got from her son at school Monday was scary and that it was "probably one of the worst phone calls you could get."
“He said, 'mom there’s a boy with a hit list' and he was told he was on the hit list and he was truly scared," Gauthier said.
They later found out that their son's name wasn't on the list.
Tony Gauthier said they went back and forth about whether to pick their son up from school or not.
"What's being done? I made a call to the school. I wanted to be assured that he was safe at the time," Tony Gauthier said.
While the Gauthiers said they found out about the list on Monday, the district did not notify parents about it until Tuesday. But the parents said a teacher found the apparent hit list on Friday.
“It really angered me that we weren’t notified and it is really hard to believe, it’s very hard to believe they didn’t know," Kim Gauthier said.
An email school officials sent to parents said that while Griswold Middle School officials and state police are treating the discovery of the "death note" book seriously, "it does not mean that it is unsafe for us to conduct regular school business and end-of year events at Griswold Middle School.
School officials have not released the identity of the student or said how many names were in the book.